MX23RW : Tuesday, April 16 05:41:06| >> :120:60674:60674:

Barcelona 'struggling to afford Roberto De Zerbi buyout clause'

Barcelona 'struggling to afford Roberto De Zerbi buyout clause'
© Reuters
Barcelona reportedly face a losing battle to hire Brighton & Hove Albion's Roberto De Zerbi as their new head coach due to his €15m (£12.9m) release clause.

Barcelona could reportedly struggle to hire Brighton & Hove Albion's Roberto De Zerbi as their new head coach due to their inability to pay his buyout clause.

It has been over a month since current Blaugrana boss Xavi revealed that he intended to leave at the end of the season, announcing his decision after January's 5-3 loss to Villarreal.

The reigning La Liga champions have strung together a pleasing set of results since, taking 13 points from the last 15 on offer in the Spanish top tier and playing out a 1-1 draw with Napoli in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.

As a result of their turnaround in form, president Joan Laporta and sporting director Deco have both opened the door to Xavi staying on beyond the summer, but the Catalan coach has reiterated that he plans to leave regardless.

Brighton boss De Zerbi - formerly of Shakhtar Donetsk and Sassuolo - is believed to be a top candidate to replace Xavi, having guided the Seagulls to a sixth-placed finish in the 2022-23 Premier League and a place in the Europa League.

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Roberto De Zerbi applauds fans after the match on October 26, 2023© Reuters

The 44-year-old's contract at the Amex Stadium does not expire until the summer of 2026, though, and his terms are also believed to include an exit clause worth €15m (£12.9m).

According to Sport, Barcelona - whose financial concerns have restricted them for a number of years now - are currently in no position to pay the entirety of De Zerbi's option, which Brighton have no intention of negotiating on.

As well as their economic situation, Brighton supposedly believe that paying an eight-figure sum to hire De Zerbi would pile the pressure on his shoulders, a situation which they hope to avoid putting their new head coach in.

Nevertheless, De Zerbi is said to be interested in managing the Spanish champions, and he would prefer a move to Camp Nou over Liverpool, who are set to part ways with Jurgen Klopp once the campaign concludes.

The Reds are prioritising the appointment of Bayer Leverkusen's Xabi Alonso, though, but De Zerbi will apparently still listen to offers from elsewhere if Barcelona are not decisive in their pursuit of his signature.

Barcelona coach Xavi on February 21, 2024© Reuters

Barcelona are expected to ramp up their search for Xavi's successor during the March international break, when Deco is set to interview candidates before Laporta makes a final decision on his next hire.

While De Zerbi is admired in Catalonia, Blaugrana chiefs have supposedly taken concrete steps to hire ex-Germany boss Hansi Flick, without a job since being sacked by the 2014 World Cup winners in September.

A separate report claimed that talks have already been held between Barcelona and Flick, who shares De Zerbi's desire to take charge of Barcelona and would be a less complicated hire than the current Brighton head coach.

The Italian has masterminded 35 wins from 76 games in charge of Brighton, but the Seagulls were condemned to a second successive defeat in all competitions on Saturday, suffering a 3-0 loss away to Fulham.

Meanwhile, Barcelona seek a third straight La Liga win on Sunday night when they travel to San Mames to take on Athletic Bilbao.

ID:538138:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:collect5549:

Next Barcelona manager - Click here for more stories

Click here for more stories about Roberto De Zerbi

Click here for more stories about Barcelona

Collect / Create New Data
Share this article now:
Germany coach Hansi Flick before the match on September 9, 2023
Read Next:
Barcelona 'open talks with Hansi Flick over replacing Xavi'
>
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free daily transfer newsletter! Sent twice a day during the transfer window.
rhs 2.0
Today's games header
Tables header RHS
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Real Madrid31246167204778
2Barcelona31217362342870
3GironaGirona31205663392465
4Atletico MadridAtletico31194859362361
5Athletic Bilbao31169651292257
6Real Sociedad311311745331250
7Valencia31138103432247
8Real BetisBetis31111283837145
9Villarreal31109124954-539
10Getafe31912103743-639
11Osasuna31116143644-839
12Las PalmasLas Palmas31107142935-637
13Sevilla31810133944-534
14AlavesAlaves3188152638-1232
15Mallorca31613122536-1131
16Rayo Vallecano31613122538-1331
17Celta Vigo31610153346-1328
18CadizCadiz31413142141-2025
19Granada3138203260-2817
20Almeria31111193062-3214


Sports Mole provides in-depth previews and predictions for every match from the biggest leagues and competitions in world football.
Argentina's Lionel Messi kisses the World Cup trophy after collecting the Golden Ball award on December 18, 2022Sign up for our FREE daily preview newsletter direct to your inbox!